Barcelona's summer transfer overhaul could be worth up to €175.5m (£148m, $196.7m) due to a number of add-ons included in the contracts of the six players recruited by the La Liga giants. This would mean a bigger outlay outstripping the transfer budgets of the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal and would put the Catalans not far behind Manchester City and Manchester United in sheer spending power.
Club chief Albert Soler queried how the Premier League club had "distorted the market" by spending more than £1 billion in the transfer window.
"The Premier League clubs are now the biggest spenders as a consequence of the new TV rights deals. If we spend €120 million on a single player, like Manchester United have done, we would not have been able to buy any more. With this budget we have bought six," Soler explained in a press conference.
"That amount of money from the Premier League has distorted the market and we have decided to change the philosophy a little. We've gone for younger players. We made a commitment to the future and if it does not work out, as they are young players, then it will be easier to sell them for a profit."
However, the reality is that Barcelona have spent much more than their La Liga rivals, Real Madrid, and have matched the English clubs despite claiming they only had €60m transfer kitty – plus player sales revenue – to improve the La Liga and Copa del Rey-winning squad.
The Catalans then stated Luis Enrique's priority was to sign a centre-back and a striker as backup to the 'MSN' triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. But the club has finally made six acquisitions; Paco Alcacer, Andre Gomes, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne, Jasper Cillesen and Denis Suarez, spending €122.75m which could reach €175.5m with add-ons.
Barcelona have not signed any major players in the mould of Paul Pogba but the total amount could be close to the €185m mark (according to transfermarkt) spent by Jose Mourinho to overhaul his Manchester United squad with the Frenchman, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, has spent a little bit more to improve his Manchester City squad with a €213m outlay but Antonio Conte and Arsene Wenger have not reached the €150m mark in strengthening their squads at Chelsea and Arsenal.
Barcelona, following the problems they encountered with the signing of Neymar from Santos, have opted for transparency in their subsequent transfer dealings as can be seen below;
Andre Gomes (€35m plus up to €35m extra in add-ons)
Barcelona paid €35m to sign the coveted Portuguese international star earlier in the summer but revealed the transfer could cost up to €70m due to a number of clauses included in the contract with Los Che. The deal includes €20m in add-ons and potential extra fee of €15m should the midfielder win the Ballon d'Or more than once.
Paco Alcacer (€30m plus €2m in add-ons)
Earlier this week Barcelona confirmed the eagerly anticipated signing of the Spanish international from Valencia in a deal worth €30m, plus a further €2m in add-ons. The 23-year-old striker is the club's second most expensive transfer of the summer despite his limited role as backup for the 'MSN'.
Samuel Umtiti (€25m)
This deal was straightforward. Barcelona signed the France international centre-back from Olympique Lyon for €25m.
Lucas Digne (€16.5m plus €4m in add-ons)
The left-back is expected to be a mere understudy for Jordi Alba. However, Barcelona signed him from Paris Saint-Germain in a deal worth €16.5m, plus €4m add-ons which could bring the total to €20.5m.
Jasper Cillessen (€13 plus €2m in add-ons)
The Catalans signed the 27-year-old keeper from Ajax Amsterdam following the departure of Claudio Bravo to Manchester City. This was good business for Barcelona but they will still pay €13m for Cillessen, plus a further €2m in other contractual terms.
Denis Suarez (€3.25m plus up to €9.75 in add-ons)
The talented midfielder was the first signing of the summer. Barcelona activated a €3.25m option in his contract to buy him back from Villarreal. However, the club later stated they had also paid €2.75m to Manchester City as part of the agreement that saw the Spaniard move to the Nou Camp from the Etihad Stadium academy in the summer of 2013, indicating that the total fee came to €5m.
But the final figure could reach as much as €13m should Suarez play 100 games for the Barcelona first team, as they have also agreed to pay City a €800,000 bonus for every ten games he features in with the first-team.